BCG Vaccine

“Our next monthly BCG vaccination clinic will run on Saturday 8th Dec 2018”

We use the only BCG vaccine licensed in the UK (BCG Vaccine AJV – made in Denmark: see the Package leaflet: Information for the user here) approved to be used by the NHS and supplied to us by the same supplier to the NHS.

Cost of BCG vaccination including consultation: £75 payable when booking the appointment over the phone.

BCG given outside scheduled clinic: £100 payable at your appointment: usually Mon-Fri: 17:30 to 18:30 & Saturdays 09:30 to 15:00.  

TB screening test (the Mantoux test), if required: £70.

To book an appointment please call 020 7435 7075.


BCG Vaccination (TB vaccine)

Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination is recommended in countries or areas (such as London) with a high incidence of Tuberculosis (TB).  The available live BCG vaccine is safe and effective, particularly to prevent the most severe forms of TB such as childhood TB meningitis and miliary TB disease, and also provide protection against leprosy. However, it is less effective adults and in preventing the form of TB that affects the lungs.  It also does not prevent the reactivation of latent TB.

If BCG vaccine cannot be given at birth, it should be given at the earliest opportunity thereafter and should not be delayed, in order to protect the child before exposure to infection occurs (WHO Position Paper on BCG vaccine, 2018)


What is TB?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by germs that are spread from person to person through the air. TB usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine. A person with TB can die if they do not get treatment.

Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. People who are infected, but not sick, have what is called latent TB infection. People who have latent TB infection do not feel sick, do not have any symptoms, and cannot spread TB to others. But some people with latent TB infection go on to get TB disease.


Who should be offered BCG vaccination?

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence  (NICE) recommends that BCG vaccination should be offered to:

1) newborn babies if:

  • they were born in an area where rates of TB are high [such as London]

  • 1 or more of their parents or grandparents were born in a country where TB is widespread 

  • someone in their family has had TB in the past 5 year

2) children who are 15 or under who weren’t vaccinated as newborn babies and who may be at higher risk of TB

3) people who are 35 or under who haven’t been vaccinated before and have had a negative Mantoux test result if they:

  • have been in close contact with someone with TB affecting their lungs or larynx
  • have come to live in the UK from areas where TB is widespread
  • work with animals that can get TB (such as chimpanzees or cows)
  • work in prisons, homes for older people, or hostels for refugees, asylum seekers or homeless people
  • plan to live or work for more than 3 months in a country where TB is widespread

4) people who haven’t been vaccinated before and have had a negative Mantoux test and work regularly with patients or clinical specimens.


The burden of TB in London

TB is a significant public health challenge in London. The city accounts for almost 40 per cent of all cases of TB in England, and one third of London boroughs are classed as high incidence by the World Health Organisation. This means that some parts of London have TB rates comparable with countries such as Algeria and Iraq. For over a decade, London has had the dubious title of ‘TB capital of Western Europe’.

Newham, Brent, Ealing, Hounslow, Harrow, Slough, Redbridge, Greenwich, Hillingdon and Waltham Forest have high incidence of TB in London (page 71 https://goo.gl/uxvUCm).  However, because of large cross-boundary movements in London, universal neonatal vaccination is in place across all London areas.

BCG vaccination against TB is currently recommended for all babies born in London. See The London Assembly Health Committee report ‘Tackling TB in London’  which looks into the problems TB poses for the capital and how it can be addressed.  This report states that “NHS London should set out how it plans to ensure universal BCG coverage across all London boroughs by 2017.”


BCG vaccination and the vaccine stock issues in last few years

In the UK, the TB vaccine is not currently part of the NHS routine immunisation schedule in England .  On the NHS, it is offered to people who are at higher risk of TB as part of selective immunisation programmes.   Given the high levels of TB in London, there is a strong argument for all babies born in London to be given BCG. However the offer of neonatal BCG across the capital was patchy even before the recent supply problems.


Are there any side effects?

Immediately after the injection, a raised blister will appear. Within two to six weeks of the injection a small spot will appear. This may be quite sore for a few days, but it should gradually heal if you don’t cover it. It may leave a small scar.
Occasionally, your baby may develop a shallow sore where they had the injection. If this is oozing fluid and needs to be covered, use a dry dressing – never a plaster – until a scab forms. This sore may take as long as several months to heal.

If you are worried or you think the sore has become infected, see your doctor.


There was no scar or blister after my child’s BCG jab. Did it work?

A raised blister will appear in most people vaccinated with BCG, but not everyone. If your child did not have this reaction to the vaccine, it does not mean that they have not responded to it. There’s no need to vaccinate with BCG a second time.


Why is it advised that BCG is always given in the left upper arm?

There is no reason, from a technical or efficacy point of view, that BCG cannot be given in either arm. By convention, it is given in the left upper arm to make it easier to find the scar later in life.


When is it necessary to do a skin test (Mantoux Test) for TB infection before BCG vaccination?

People with a past history of TB should not receive the BCG vaccine. This is because they have an increased risk of adverse reactions to the vaccine.

A skin test  is necessary prior to BCG vaccination for:
●  all individuals aged six years or over
●  infants and children under six years of age with a history of residence or prolonged stay (more than three months) in a country with an annual TB incidence of 40/100,000 or greater. 
●   those who have had close contact with a person with known TB
●   those who have a family history of TB within the last five years.

TB screening test (the Mantoux test), if required: £70.


The information in this page are from the Public Health England and  the NHS Choices website.

A message from the Mayor of London’s TB Ambassador Emma Thompson and her son Tindy on World TB Day

“Our next monthly BCG clinic will run on Saturday 8th Dec 2018”

We use the only BCG vaccine licensed in the UK (BCG Vaccine AJV – made in Denmark: see the Package leaflet: Information for the user here) approved to be used by the NHS and supplied to us by the same supplier to the NHS.

Cost of BCG vaccination including consultation: There are TWO options:
1) BCG given during monthly clinic (usually the Saturday of 1st week of each month): £75 payable when booking the appointment over the phone.
2) BCG given outside scheduled clinic: £100 payable at your appointment: usually Mon-Fri: 17:30 to 18:30 & Saturdays 09:00 to 15:00.
To book an appointment please call 020 7435 7075.

Evidence of no previous exposure to TB prior to BCG is required for some individuals (e.g. anyone 6 year of age and over; see list on the left hand side)

TB screening test (the Mantoux test): £70 (includes two appointments: one to administer the test and a 2nd one to interpret the results 48-72 hours after; if negative, BCG can be given right after)

Other vaccines can be given at any time before or after BCG.  However, no further vaccination should be given in the arm used for BCG vaccination for at least 3 months.

Please read this leaflet before the appointment: BCG Vaccine: After Care for Parent

For more information email: info@hhpharmacy.co.uk